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Elephant corridors need to be protected: Jairam Ramesh on elephants death in Bengal train collision

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New Delhi, Nov 28 (IANS) Congress leader and former Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday expressed distress over death of three elephants, including a calf, by a speeding train in West Bengal and said that it is time for a serious review and elephant corridors need to be protected.

In a post on X, he said: "It is very distressing to learn that three elephants including a calf have been mowed down by a speeding train of Northeast Frontier Railway in North Bengal.

"Thirteen years ago, a similar tragedy had occurred and seven elephants had been killed. I had visited the area and preventive measures had been put in place by the railways and the state government. It is time for a serious review. Most importantly elephant corridors need to protected," he said.

Ramesh's remarks came a day after three elephants died on Monday morning at Rajabhat Khawa in West Bengal's Alipurduar district following a collision with a goods train.

The three elephants, a mother and her two babies, died on the spot.

State Forest Department sources said that the collision with the good train bound for Siliguri happened on Monday morning as the three elephants were crossing the rail corridors at Rajabhat Khawa.

The Railways and Forest Department officials quickly rushed to the spot while train services in the corridor were disrupted for quite some time after the accident.

Earlier this year, the Railways had announced installation of Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) on the Railway tracks passing through the elephant corridors, so that the loco-pilots could be alerted in case of the presence of elephants near the railway tracks.

In August this year, a pregnant elephant died in West Bengal following a collision with a train. There had been several rounds of discussion between the Railways and state Forest Department officials on this count.

--IANS

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